Cordoba Cinclodes Cinclodes comechingonus ©Dubi Shapiro Website

Córdoba is a province of Argentina, located in the centre of the country. Its neighbouring provinces are (clockwise from the north) Santiago del Estero, Santa Fe, Buenos Aires, La Pampa, San Luis, La Rioja, and Catamarca. Córdoba is the second-most populous Argentine province, with four million inhabitants, and the fifth by size, at about 165,000 km2 (c.64,000 square miles). Almost 41% of its inhabitants (1.6 million) reside in the capital city, also called Córdoba, and its surroundings, making it the second most populous metro area in Argentina.

The main feature of the province is the presence of an extensive plain covering the eastern two-thirds of the province and the existence of three major mountain ranges, which, combined, are known as Sierras de Córdoba: the easternmost range starts just west of the city of Córdoba and reaches altitudes of mostly around 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) in the southern portion and over 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) further north, with a maximum altitude of 1,950 meters (6,400 feet) at Cerro Uritorco. West of this chain, two valleys contain most of the tourist spots in the province: the Calamuchita valley in the south and the Punilla Valley in the north, home of scenic towns. West of these valleys, the Sierras Grandes form the highest chain in the province: their altitude increases gradually to form a plateau of 2,000 to 2,300 meters (6,600 to 7,500 ft) known as Pampa de Achala, culminating with Cerro Champaqui on the western part, at 2,790 meters (9,150 feet). West of these mountains, there is an impressive drop towards the valley known as Valle de Traslasierra, and across the valley, the Sierras Orientales reach an altitude of 1,650 meters (5,410 feet) at Cerro Yerba Buena. In the northeast corner of the province, a natural depression forms an extensive salt lake called Laguna Mar Chiquita. The southeastern part of the province is home to numerous ponds, lakes, and wetlands.

Sierras de Cordoba – ©Seba Holz via Wikimedia Commons

The climate of the province is predominantly temperate, with some regional variations. Generally speaking, summers are hot and humid, autumns are pleasant, winters are extremely dry with strong variations in temperature, and springs are windy and variable.

Birding in Cordoba

The province lies between two big biomes, El Parque Chaqueño and El Espinal. The first biome has warm weather, scarce rains and seasonal differences with a predominance of xerophytic scrub woodland dominated by quebrachos and algarrobos, called Chaco. This is great habitat for guans, tinamous, doves, seriemas, parrots and parakeets. The other biome, El Espinal, also has seasonal differences but its forests are less dense with more spiny trees, shrubs, cactus and grass. Among the avian residents are tyrants, doraditos, flycatchers, monjitas, cowbirds, saltators, cardinals and finches. These environments and their species, had origins in the biodiversity of life forms generated as a consequence of volcanic events, the wavy terrain subsequently created climate modifications and were settled by floral and fauna streams from different sources, mainly tropical or subtropical.

The uprising of La Cordillera de los Andes and the folding up off the plains and the Pampas Mountain Range made for high narrow valleys just right for species such as xerophytics. Four parallel mountain chains were formed that range from 1000m to 3000m and in the southeastern area a flat plain was formed – The Pampas. Its Mediterranean conditions allowed an influx of species from many different places and this in turn attracted a wide avifauna. The most significant influence was from the west with Andean, austral or Antarctic origins. The other migratory current was of tropical forms, especially in the northeast, where Brazilian and Paraguayan species predominate.

The pampas, valleys and mountains hold around 390 bird species thriving on diverse ecosystems such as high forests, rock, grasslands, steppes and marshes, palmars, chaco forests, cactus deserts, big Salinas and large lakes.

Mar Chiquita after flooding – ©Beatriz Moisset CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

La Laguna de Mar Chiquita with one million hectares of aquatic and marshy areas is brilliant for local and migrant birds. Some early colonisers have speciated and are now endemic. Now Cordoba had many endemic species and subspecies of birds, such as Cinclodes, Agriornis, Asthenes, Xolmis, & Geositta. A few birds are on the endangered list such as: Dinelli’s Doradito, Narosky’s Seedeater and Yellow Cardinal. There is only a modest handful or rarities and specialty birds such as Salinas Monjita, Black-crowned and White Monjita, Spot-winged Falconet, Two-banded Plover, Tawny-throated Dotterel, Dot-winged Crake or Red-tailed Comet.

Cordoba has an excellent road infrastructure that allow you to travel quickly to the best places for birds. A super site to start a birding itinerary is Villa Carlos Paz with 300 hotels of all categories 30 minutes from International Airport.

Top Sites
  • Córdoba Hills

    InformationSatellite View
    There are 2 ways to get there. One is flying from Buenos Aires to Córdoba city and from there get by car into the not so far Calamuchita Valley distant about 100 km (60 m.) to the south. The other way is to drive from Buenos Aires to the northwest along National Route 8 and then go straight into the Calamuchita Valley distant about 650 km (400 m.). There are lots of small roads and trails leading from the main road into the Hills and some adjacent openings and fields. Sereimas can be found as well as the White Woodpecker, Spot-winged Pigeon, Red-tailed Comet. Often the places are overflown by noisy bunches of Burrowing Parrots and standing on a twig a Golden-billed Saltator can be seen calling. Look out for the Chestnut Cinclodes, an endemic to Córdoba. Often on top of the hills soaring Condors can be seen.
  • General

    The most attractive Hot Spots in the state are Las Salinas Grandes (330 km), Laguna de Mar Chiquita (250 km), Chancani (270 km), Cerro Colorado (200 km) or Altas Cumbres (100 km) just for to mention a few. Each of these areas shelters a rich variety of birds and has its own special species. (Distances from Cordoba City)
  • Juan Carlos Grasso

    | jcgrasso@arnet.com.ar

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 467

    (As at May 2024)
  • Number of endemics: Argentinian Endemic Species and Sub-species that can be seen in the province:

    Rufous-banded Miner  Geositta rufipennis ottowi
    Common Miner  Geositta cunicularia hellmari
    Cordilleran Canastero Asthenes modesta cordobae
    Cordoba Canastero Asthenes sclateri sclateri
    Steinbach's Canastero Asthenes steinbachi neiffi
    Rusty-backed Monjita Xolmis rubetra
    Salinas Monjita Xolmis salinarium
    Black-bellied Shrike Tyrant Agriornis montana famous
    Rufous-naped Ground Tyrant Musisaxicola rufivertex achalensis
    Plumbeous Sierra Finch Phrygilus unicolor cyaneus
    Narosky's Seedeater Phrygilus plebejus narosky
    Long-tailed Meadowlark Sturnella loyca obscura
    Olrog's Cinclodes (Gray-flanked) Cinclodes oustaleti olrogi
    Cordoba Cinclodes (Chestnut winged)  Cinclodes comechingonus
    White-winged Cinclodes Cinclodes atacamensis schocolatinus
    Sandy Gallito Teledromas fuscus
    Cinnamon Warbling Finch Poospiza ornate
    Dinelli's Doradito Pseudocolopteryx dinellianus
    Andean Tinamou Nothoprocta pentlandii doeringi
    Plain-coloured Seedeater Catamenia inornata cordobae
  • Aves Argentinas

    PDF Checklist
    Córdoba fue la primera provincia en la Argentina en tener una Lista de Aves (Birds Checklist) realizada por Stempelman y Schulz en 1890. La última lista publicada fue la de Nores (1996) y a 20 años de su aparición, creímos conveniente actualizar la avifauna cordobesa con nuevos registros de especies y aportando además datos de distribución temporal, abundancia, distribución y nidificación.
  • Avibase

    PDF Checklist
    This checklist includes all bird species found in Cordoba , based on the best information available at this time. It is based on a wide variety of sources that I collated over many years. I am pleased to offer these checklists as a service to birdwatchers. If you find any error, please do not hesitate to report them.

Abbreviations Key

  • NP Quebrada del Condorito National Park

    InformationSatellite View
    Quebrada del Condorito National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Quebrada del Condorito) is a national park in Argentina, in Córdoba Province. It was established in 1996…
  • NP Traslasierra National Park

    InformationSatellite View
    The project consists of converting the 105,000 hectares of the Cordovan Pinas ranch into a national park with the aim of protecting both its biodiversity and its historical heritage.
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Naturetrek

    Tour Operator
    A 9-day birding tour visiting Argentina's Mar Chiquita, Chaco and Central Sierras.
  • Rockjumper

    Tour Operator
    Our Cordoba Endemics Extension targets some of the least-known birds and least-visited areas of Argentina. The geographically isolated Cordoba Hills are a haven of endemicity where we can expect to find the endemic Olrog’s and Cordoba Cinclodes.
  • Seriema Nature Tours

    Tour Operator
    In the geographic centre of the country rise the Cordoba Hills, a granite massif of 2800 m on its highest point. Separated from the Andes by some 320 Km the region has acted as a true island for speciation and is home to several endemic birds, both at the higher elevations and in the adjacent lowlands and saltflats. Such is the case of the Cordoba Cinclodes and Salinas Monjita, two of the most sought-after birds in Argentina. Several subspecies occur only here, such as Cordoba/Puna Canastero and Olrog's Cinclodes, sometimes considered a full species.
  • Trogon Tours

    Tour Operator
    Trogon Tours is the official nature travel company of Birding Argentina, the leading birding and nature specialists for southern South America since 2001
Trip Reports
  • 2015 [10 October] - Luis Segura - Córdoba Endemics Pre-tour Extension

    PDF Report
    ...Our Northern Argentina 2015 tour started with Córdoba Endemics extension...
Other Links
  • Best Bird Watching Trails in Córdoba (Province)

    Explore the most popular bird watching trails in Córdoba (Province) with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
  • Galileo Geeraert - Aves de Cordoba

    Birds of Cordoba is a blog where I show pictures and videos of Cordoba's birds and techniques for photographing them, also legends. Birds of Argentina are 1000 birds of Cordoba are 400 we try to photograph those and then share them with you.

Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

Skip to content